Passionate about growing your business

Welcome to FirstBank SME Connect. At FirstBank, we are passionate about helping your business grow on all fronts. Beyond financial support, we offer you strategic advisory services, business  seminars periodic updates as well as information that will guide you in growing your business. Our scope of SME services cover small/medium scale manufacturing firms, merchants (suppliers, distributors etc), professional firms(law, consulting, audit etc), agricultural, Churches, Mosques and NGOs whose annual debit turnover is between N5M and N500M.

About SME

Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) as defined by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are economically independent companies with about 11 to 300 employees and an annual debit turnover of between N5million to N500 million.

The main factors determining whether a company is an SME are::

  • Number of employees
  • Annual debit turnover

Why are SME important?

SMEs are responsible for the majority of new jobs created in Nigeria and they are crucial to Nigeria’s success in the global economy.
  • For Government, SMEs, contribute to wealth creation and generate tax revenues
  • In business, SMEs represent an important source of innovation
  • In the society, they are an important source of employment
  • They drive consumption at the lower levels because they operate in every sector of the economy
  • SMEs have extensive local knowledge of resources, supply patterns and purchasing trends
  • SMEs constitute an important source of local supply and service provisions to larger corporations.
  • They make significant contribution to the revenue profile of most financial institutions
  • SMEs stimulate growth and development within the economy

How do you classify an SME?

SMEs can be classified as follows:
  • Small/medium scale manufacturing firms.
  • Small/medium retail merchants (suppliers, distributors, etc.)
  • Professional firms (law, consulting, audit, etc.)
  • Small/medium scale agricultural firms.
  • Churches, mosques and NGO.

Key challenges faced by SMEs in Nigeria

  • Poor capital structure
  • High cost of production
  • Limited access to long term funds
  • Poor business continuity/succession plan
  • Weak value chain: supply, distribution, logistics, time to market etc
  • Poor managerial and technical skills
  • Lack of access to international markets
  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Labour intensive production processes
  • Keyman risk

How does First Bank SME Connect support SMEs in Nigeria?

  • First Bank is committed to providing the Nigerian SME’S with the support needed for growth
  • SME Connect is created to bring under one umbrella relevant resources, products and services aimed at helping SMEs in Nigeria.
  • First Bank has tailor-made products targeted at the specific needs of SMEs in Nigeria. These loan products have been designed for financing the activities of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) under the U-First Scheme.
  • First Bank also provides Business Advisory and Support services and business oriented credit access
  • Location
  • Customer/market
  • Competition
  • Financing structure
  • Access/Availability of Raw Materials
  • Sales/cashflow projections
  • Marketing/Distribution/Logistics
  • Business Strategic Plan